Collaborative data teams for school improvement: Work and sustainability

Kim Schildkamp, Adam Handelzalts

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Data-driven decision making is becoming more and more important in education. The use of data can lead to school improvement (e.g. increased student achievement). However, in several schools data are not being used. In this paper we describe the first results of a pilot into supporting schools in the use of data by a data team approach. Collaborative data teams are teams of teachers (4-6) and (assistant) school leaders (1-2), who collaboratively use data to solve a certain educational problem within the school using a structured approach. A data team defines a problem, develops hypotheses about what causes the problem, collects data to either accept or reject the hypotheses, analyses and interprets the collected data, comes up with conclusions and measures to solve the problem, and evaluates the effectiveness of the measures. The results of the pilot show that data teams can be effective in two different manners: (1) a data team uses data to solve a problem, thereby improving education and (2) data team members learn how to use data to improve their work (e.g. professional development). At the end of this paper we explore the sustainability of this intervention - do teachers continue to use data (in data teams) after the intervention has been completed?
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jan 2012
Event25th International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement, ICSEI 2012: The Interplay between Policy, Research and Practice in Education - Malmö, Sweden
Duration: 5 Jan 20128 Jan 2012
Conference number: 25


Conference25th International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement, ICSEI 2012
Abbreviated titleICSEI
Internet address


  • IR-84007
  • METIS-292432


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